Nikon D90 MC-DC2 Remote Shutter Hack




ever need to control your shutter on your nikon but cant find that strange "accessory" plug?
need more distance on your remote
want to make a highspeed photography rig or have one that does not work for your nikon?

well me to so i have made this simple hack for you :)

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Gather the Parts

go to radioshack or your parts bin and get
ONE In-Line 1/8" Phone Jack (3 PIN Stereo type)
ONE (or 2 if your making ur own shutter cable) 1/8" stereo Phone Plug
(these come in packs of 2)

one nikon MC-DC2 (works with MC-DC1 if your camera only supports that and probably other shutter releases)

Step 2: Cut and Splice

cut your cord wherever you see fit and strip away the coating

peel back the metal shield and twist it off to the side

green- Focus  (Ring)
white- Shutter (Tip)
red- NOT USED (X)
black / metal shield Ground (Sleeve)

we will use the canon standard pinout because its easy and you can use your canon gear on it

Step 3: Solder and Test

put the wires on solder and test

solder like this

Sleeve - Black wire + metal ground housing
Ring - Green wire
Tip - White wire
solder both the jack and the plug ... the jack should be on the MC-DC2 plug side and the plug should be on the remote side to make it easy

plug them together plug it in your camera cut it on hit the button half way it should focus hit it all the way it should capture the shot

Step 4: Taking It to the Next Level (OPTIONAL AND NOT REQUIRED)

so you want to take it to the next level? adding a micro-controller or logic or analog circuit?

here is a simple way to do so

it uses 2 2n2222 NPN transistors and 4 10k resistors

you can use 5-12vDC to switch the transistors and if you use a 1k resistor at resistor 4 and resistor 3 to power it off 1.5-3.3v


Be the First to Share


    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest
    • Multi-Discipline Contest

      Multi-Discipline Contest
    • Robotics Contest

      Robotics Contest

    19 Discussions


    8 months ago

    Any hacks for a splitter for the MC-DC2, I want to use a wireless remote shutter release and my battery grip both use the MC-DC2 port. Thanks.


    9 months ago

    Thanks for the diagram. I can see I have it wired correctly. i'm using the MC-DC1 with APT Astro Photography Tools and it opens and shut the first time but doesnt down load the image. We can't work out why it cant take subsequent shots. Any clues?


    3 years ago

    December 1015 -- a new MC-DC2 has three wires, red, white, black. Black = GND, Wht = Focus, Red = shutter. I drove it from a PLC through a relay output module as follows: focus on, delay .25 second, shutter on, delay .25 second (i.e. .5 total), focus and shutter off. Seems to work fine.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Hi, I just saw your comment, what is the relay you used for the controller? I'm having trouble using transistors...


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the great I'ble! I'm fairly new to electronics and I would like to use the remote with an Arduino.

    I'm not sure I understand your sketch correctly (Step 4). Where it states "Shutter 5-12V" or "Focus 5-12V": this is the digital pin of Arduino ("HIGH"). Then in addition to this I would need the transistors and the 10K resistances?

    This worked great on my D3100. Now I can switch between the regular button and an Arduino controlled trigger. Thanks!


    6 years ago on Step 4

    Thanks very much for this last (but actually not least) step! Just tried it for doing a Nikon D5100 remote with Arduino, and it works great!
    In case other people would like to do the same (with arduino), remember to:
    - trigger the focus first (as said above) (and leave it HIGH)
    - let some time (half sec) for focusing
    - trigger the shutter and leave it HIGH for the duration your photo needs
    - nb: if you use the BULB mode (what i think is better to controle the speed..), remember that a shutter speed lower than (approx) half second won't work ('cause bulb is made for long exposures...)
    Have fun!

    3 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    my camera doesnt have bulb mode (d3100) just shutter priority (up to 30 sec). If I want to use the shutter speed set on the camera, do i still have to leave the shutter pin high for the duration?



    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Hi Dan, i can't be sure about it but i guess you can't tune the shutter speed from the arduino if you don't have bulb mode. I think it will use the shutter speed from the camera no matter how long you keep the shutter pin high (meaning you can use a rather short duration for HIGHing this pin)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Hey, I want to make a shutter release controller with the transistor circuit but I am wondering if it isn't dangerous for the camera. Like the voltage are 3.3v on mine, and don't we need to put opto isolator for security of our camera ??




    6 years ago on Introduction

    You say that the focus must be active for the shutter release to work. I am trying to connect a Celestron 4SE telescope to the Nikon (the telescope has camera control functions). Here is the schematic.

    However, it only has ground and shutter release, not focus. How could I get this to work with the D3200 Nikon?


    8 years ago on Step 2

    So is it possible to just buy the jack that goes into the Nikon? I have a d3100 and it's got a strange rectangular jack about the size of a mini usb, but without the flanges. It would be great to be able to not need to buy the whole MC-DC2. Is that correct? Could you maybe add a schematic of just that plug?? the colored wire description is great, but only relevant to those w/ that plug already wired up. Thanks!

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 2

    Buy it on e-bay from the chinese for 3$. Buy two, just in case. When one of them breaks, you can use the plug and still use the other one.

    Sidney Floydrcole-2

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    It's far easier to just foot the cost of the whole remote shutter accessory. Once it's cut you get the plug that is broken out into the fly lead. Not to mention that you probably can't find the proprietary nikon shutter plug anywhere as a single, modifiable unit.


    8 years ago on Step 2

    I cut an old usb cord I wasn't using, separated the four wires inside and stripped their ends, plugged in to my camera, shorted green against black - and nothing!
    Isn't it supposed to focus when I do that?

    Or is the MC-DC2 sending power through too?

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    The plug/socket being used here isn't the USB socket - it's the one at the top, i.e. the one above the USB socket. It's square, and a bit larger than mini USB. This applies to D90, D5000, D3100, D5100 (and possibly others, check Nikon specs at for use of MC-DC2).


    8 years ago on Introduction

    You can get a cable and plug from eBay, it's a

    YongNuo RF-602 YN-126 Remote Cable for NIKON D90 D5000 LS-021.

    Cut one end off and you have exactly what you need. I got mine through phoebe-g2009 a few months ago for AU$7.26 each postage free, so in US$ it would be a little more.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome! Thank you for this, I shoot off a 50 foot mast and needed a better way besides radio control.